HOOKED: ADDICTION AND THE LONG ROAD TO RECOVERY by Paul Merson
Hooked is Merson’s wonderfully moving and brutally honest memoir of battling addiction, unflinching in detailing his emotional and psychological troughs and in raking over the painful embers of an adult life blighted by such debilitating issues.
‘I can’t remember a time before addiction. I can’t remember what the absence of addiction felt like.’
For twenty-one years Paul Merson played professional football, but for thirty-five years has also been an addict. Alcohol, drugs, gambling: a desperately unenviable cocktail of addictions and depression which has plagued his entire adult life and driven him to the verge of suicide.
‘All I’ve ever wanted my entire life is to be normal – take the kids to the park, sit in the garden, Sunday roast – and be someone my family could rely on.’
‘At night, I go to bed and put my head on the pillow and appreciate that it’s a miracle that I haven’t had a bet or a drink.’
Hooked will kick-start a crucial national conversation about addiction, depression and the damage they wreak, and about the long road to recovery.
‘If this book manages to save just one person, it would be the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.’
‘The addiction’s not in the drink or the bet or the drug. The addiction is in my head. It’s an inside job.’
‘Always remember, addiction needs you on your own. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You are not alone.’
‘When you’re a compulsive gambler and you have money, it isn’t burning a hole in your pocket, it’s burning a hole in your mind.’
‘Drinking was like boarding a rocket for me, a ticket to a different world.’
(Publisher: Headline. September 2021. Hardcover: 304 pages)